Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Filings Surged According to Recently Released Statistics

The EEOC is responsible for administering a number of employment laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and others. Those statutes require potential plaintiffs to file a charge with the EEOC (or state equivalent) before going to court and filing a lawsuit.

Each year, the EEOC releases statistics on all of the charges it receives. Given that lawsuits are generally filed a year after the EEOC charge is filed, these statistics provide an insight into areas that employers will be dealing with in the courtrooms soon. The EEOC recently released its statistics for fiscal year 2022 (FY2022), and a review of these contained some interesting nuggets of information. Among the highlights:

  • Total EEOC charge filings were up 20% nationwide, jumping from 61,331 in FY 2021 to 73,485 in FY2022. Despite that increase, the total number of EEOC filings was still well behind the record of FY 2011, when 99,947 charges were filed nationwide.
  • Fueled by a surge of vaccine-related claims, the number of EEOC charges claiming religious discrimination rose over six-fold, from 2,111 in FY2021 to 13,814 in FY2022.
  • More than half (51.6% to be exact) of all EEOC charges contained a claim of retaliation.
  • More than one-third (34% to be exact) of all EEOC charges claimed disability discrimination. The most-cited disabilities were “non-paralytic orthopedic impairment” (1,400 charges), “orthopedic and structural impairments of the back” (1,322 charges) and depression (1,179).
  • More than half of the disability discrimination charges – 13,508 out of the 25,004 total – claimed a failure to accommodate a disability. This is a 15% increase over the prior year.
  • Despite the increase in overall filings, there were fewer age discrimination and national origin discrimination claims filed in FY2022 than there were in FY2021.

If you find yourself or your company at risk of becoming part of this year’s EEOC statistics, please contact Jeffrey Stewart (stewartj@whiteandwilliams.com, 610-782-4904), who has handled hundreds of EEOC charges over the course of his career, or any other member of our Labor and Employment Group.